Tuning Tricks for Awkward Keys

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    With the Yamaha, midstave I've typically 15 cents either way before the tone starts thinning appreciably. The Wild Thing maybe 20 cents up, 30 cents down. I've said it before, I tend to lip the Wild Thing and work the slides on the Yamaha. Mind you my control is still a bit shabby so other people might find different.

    I do a lot of sight reading or playing by ear in random keys, and it's surprising how often I end up transposing minor key melodies into E just on sound consistency and ease of playing. When I did the same check on E minor that I did for D major, it came out near perfect without any alternate fingerings at all! I put 30 cents on 1st slide; 10 on 2nd; 30 on 3rd and tweaked main slide in 10 cents. Spot on bar low G and F#, and even they weren't far out.
  2. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Onward and upward.

    The most difficult key for standard fingerings on a trumpet seems to be G minor.

    If you've tuned to concert A, then G and C will be close. But the standard deviation (average out-of-tuneness) for the scale is over 18 cents so the rest of the notes are pretty scattered. Even ignoring low D and below, the SD is still over 13 cents.

    At the sharp extreme 2nd valve F# is 12 cents high. As Rowuk pointed out, we don't worry too much (usually) about sharp leading-notes especially in a melodic context, but as it happens, pulling 2nd valve 12 cents also brings the sharp 1-2 combination A into tune.

    The main challenges are the flat notes: 1st valve Bb & D at -17.6 cents and 2nd valve Eb at -29.3 cents, which has just got a little bit worse because of our tweak on the 2nd slide.

    D is simple (and for me obligatory). A 30 cent pull on 3rd puts 1-3 in tune.

    Interesting situation though with the 3rds and 6ths (Bb and Eb). If we stay with the flat Bb and play Eb 2-3 (also ~17 cents flat) the scale is now very near to the equal tempered minor scale. No piano accompanist would have cause for complaint.

    But for a true just minor scale, Bb is good with 1-2-3 and the same pull on 3rd as for D. There is nothing better than 2-3 (3rd slide in) for Eb so it's a case of lip it or live with it I guess.

    Whichever choice, 1st slide is free to put a slight trim on any F naturals that float by.

    The scale will have something of a character of its own, but with the standard deviation down to below 5, it's a fair bit better than it was.
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I too love a wide slotting horn Tom. That is where the art is in trumpet playing. Anyone can play in tune. Bending notes in and out of tune as the piece requires, that is the art.

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